A group of retail industry insiders is taking a cue from Alibaba and creating a new shopping day to jumpstart the holiday season

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A group of retail industry insiders is taking a cue from Alibaba and creating a new shopping day to jumpstart the holiday season
A journalist takes a picture of a screen showing real-time data of transactions at Alibaba Group's 11.11 global shopping festival in Beijing, China.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
  • A group led by Coresight Research and rewards app Shopkick is hoping to save the holiday shopping season with a new festival called "10.10," taking place on October 10.
  • 10.10 takes a cue from Alibaba's massive Singles' Day shopping festival in China held on November 11, which generated about $38.3 billion in sales last year.
  • By offering discounts on October 10, the group is hoping to elongate the holiday season and mitigate potential issues with shipping and fulfillment.

A group of retail insiders are banding together in an effort to save the holiday shopping season — as the industry weathers a year unlike any before.

To do so, stakeholders are looking to create a brand-new shopping festival called "10.10," taking place online on October 10.

The occasion is a nod to China's massive Singles' Day shopping event, which happens on November 11 (11/11) each year. In 2019, Singles' Day generated about $38.3 billion in sales, according to Alibaba, which hosts the 24-hour shopping extravaganza.

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With 10.10, American retailers can look to "create excitement" and "bring back the magic and the fun of shopping," according to Coresight Research's founder and CEO, Deborah Weinswig, who conceptualized the festival along with rewards app Shopkick.

As part of the festival, the group is encouraging retailers to run special promotions on October 10. There's also a charitable element, as customers shopping with participating retailers will be given the option to donate their earned rewards to a charity of their choice. Shopkick will create a website for the festival. The retailers participating in the event have not been disclosed.

The timing of 10.10 is no coincidence. As the holiday shopping season draws closer, retailers are beginning to warn that their systems could become overloaded and customers could face order delays close to the holidays. Shipping volumes have been unusually high as consumers opt to shop online and stay largely at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. If more people are shopping around the same time due to the holidays, the problem could get worse.

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By hosting a festival at the beginning of October, Weinswig said, the group hopes to "pull the shopping season forward" so that demand can be spread out for a longer period of time.

The festival is a form of "thinking about how to elongate the season, how to make sure that that product is delivered when the consumer wants to give it and to get it," Weinswig said.

Other retailers including Kohl's, Target, and Nordstrom have said they'd begin holiday deals in October or November in order to allow for safe environments in stores and to avoid potential shipping bottlenecks. A number of major retailers are also opting to keep their stores closed on Thanksgiving.

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